Monthly Archives: February 2021

Patents and Pancakes

I had a fairly clear idea when I came to Loyola University Chicago School of Law that I wanted to focus on patent law. Having a science background, it seemed like a natural fit given the intersection between patent law and science. However, my interests weren’t solidified until I read patent cases assessing the validity of a patented pancake recipe. You’ll have to learn a little bit about my childhood to understand why those interests solidified though. 

A consistent motivating force throughout my life has been figuring out how things worked. As a kid, whenever I got bored with a toy, I would sneak tools from my dad’s toolbox and take it apart. I wanted to get a better understanding of how the toy worked. Knowing that I’d get a lecture on why I shouldn’t break my toys, I’d try to put them back together—often unsuccessfully. Nevertheless, the hunt for that forbidden knowledge was worth the lecture and one less toy. I needed to figure out how it worked, no matter the consequences.

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Justice for Social Movement Trademarks

Thousands of people have taken to the streets, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to demand justice and equal treatment for Black Americans after the murder of George Floyd. Throughout these protests, the slogan “Black Lives Matter” is often used by those condemning the treatment of Black Americans at the hands of police officers around the country. Is this phrase a trademark, and if it is, who owns it? Do trademark principles allow the Black Lives Matter Foundation, an entity associated with the movement, to have a trademark in phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” so that they can prevent other entities from commercially profiting from using it?

Let’s start by discussing some trademark principles.

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